Come December, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) will crack open its health database and share national, state and county health performance data sets. The idea is to foment software application development focused on better health decision-making, said HHS CTO Todd Park last week at a conference in Washington.
As Park told Healthcare IT News, HHS hopes to become a “data sugar daddy” that “flood[s] the market” with data on more than 2,000 population health markers. That information, to be published on a website called the Health Indicators Warehouse, will be accompanied by application interfaces and other application development tools, as well as links to similar private-sector health databases. The goal is to inspire software developers to create applications for patients, providers and policymakers, he said.
The warehouse is the latest phase of a project that began in June with the Community Health Data Initiative, which made information from public health databases available as downloadable files or interactive Web-based files. The Health Indicators Warehouse will put the information into a Web portal, making it easy to bring the data into maps, tables and other applications, and giving physicians and other community leaders insight into the diseases and conditions that affect their population most.